The Golden Bridge ensemble performs the world premiere of Melinda Bargreen’s “O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth.”

An EarRelevant Interlude, No. 6: O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth Our Queen

Mark Gresham | 3 JUL 2020

Number 6 in a series of audio and video presentations curated by by EarRelevant’s publisher and principal writer Mark Gresham as part of his “Composer’s Notebook.” Several of our writers are also composers, and in this preocess we’d like to introduce you to some of their music during this time in which we are absent live concerts.


Nelinda Bargreen: O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth Our Queen

The Golden Bridge ensemble performs the world premiere of Melinda Bargreen’s “O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth Our Queen.” This is a live recording from September 7, 2019 at All Saints’ Church, Beverly Hills, California. Conductor: Suzi Digby, OBE

Click the “expand” button in lower right corner to enlarge (recommended)


We are delighted to count the notable Seattle-based music journalist Melinda Bargreen, as part of the EarRelevant team of writers. She is “a Seattle music authority. She has been writing about classical music for the Seattle Times and other publications for four decades. Bargreen is also a composer, book author and professor.” [~WQXR, August 13, 2015]

Composer, author and music journalist Melinda Bargreen.

Composer, author and music journalist Melinda Bargreen.

Commissioned and premiered by the Golden Bridge ensemble, Bargreen’s setting of O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth Our Queen, for six-part mixed choir, was nominally inspired by William Byrd’s setting of the same text, but is hardly imitative. She explains:

The request from the Golden Bridge people (principally the conductor, Suzi Digby) was to choose a Renaissance classic choral piece and to use it as inspiration for a completely new piece of about the same length as the original. In mine, you can hear some elements of Renaissance style (e.g. the melisma). Only the first two notes in the Soprano I line, “O Lord” on a whole tone rise, are the same as the Byrd original; from there on it’s completely my own.


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In addition to her writing for EarRelevant, Bargreen’s freelancing includes concert reviews, book reviews, articles for magazines and other publications, including The Seattle Times and The American Record Guide.

Nonfiction writing includes “Classical Seattle,” a series of profiles of the most significant people in Seattle’s classical-music scene over the past five decades, was published by the University of Washington Press (2015). “Fifty Years of Seattle Opera,” the company’s 50th anniversary history, was published by Marquand Books (2014).

Most of Bargreen’s compositions are for chorus. Some of her works are are published by http://www.sbmp.com Santa Barbara Music Publishing; others are available directly form the composer herself. ■


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